Thanksgiving has come and passed. We may be a little bit heavier and a little more tired. But damn was that turkey good as always. With the onslaught of get togethers coming our ways, I want to equip you with the right tools to battle the food and drinks that are coming your way. The holidays are special and should be celebrated to the fullest. Therefore I am going to give your six best tips to survive the holidays and get a jump start on your New Years Resolutions of being healthier.
One of the best ways to fend off the extra calories is to be active over the holidays, especially since our society has become more sedentary to begin with. This can come in several different forms. When I know that I am going to be sitting around overindulging on delicious foods and tasty drinks, I like to make sure that I get an effective workout the morning of. If getting a full workout in isn’t your style, you can go for walks before and after the meal. Just a ten-minute walk after dinner can go great lengths to getting the digestion going. Do this with your friends or family and enjoy the social time while working off those extra calories.
Protein, Protein, Protein!
Prioritizing protein will effectively aid you in over consuming. Protein is the most satiating macro-nutrient. This means that you will eat less and feel full faster; leading you to not over consume. I will always start with a few bites of my turkey, chicken, steak or salmon before digging into my potatoes or veggies. This allows me to get the most important foods in first and then fit in the others.
Be In the Moment
Too many times, we eat around distractions. Whether its our phones or the television, our attention is drawn away from the food in front of us, and we will mindlessly stuff our face and blow past the “I’m full signal. I challenge you to be mindful while you eat. Chew your food, put the fork down between bites, and appreciate your food.
Eat As Much as you Need, Not as much as you want
Coming from a family of eight, I am guilty of going back for seconds as quickly as possible because you never know if you will get that extra scoop of mashed potatoes. Here lies the problem. If you don’t take time to let the food that was on your plate settle, and you will never feel full until it hurts. So, after your join the clean plate club, wait 15 minutes. If you are still hungry after that time has passed, go for a LITTLE more. Your gut will thank you for it.
Fasting is a ritual that has been practiced by many cultures for centuries. It is a practice of discipline and separation of desire. If it didn’t have value, it would have vanished a long time ago. Too many fitness “gurus” will swear by intermittent fasting as way to drop a few lbs, but this is simply due to the fact that you are eating less. If you look at the law of thermodynamics (calories in vs calories out), of course you will lose weight if you simply do not eat. Though intermittent fasting is a terrible way to lose weight, it is a great tool to counteract the overabundance of calories that we tend to intake over the holidays. If you know that you are going to overindulge, try fasting before the meal. This means try to not eat until your big meal. If you are desperately hungry, eat a small and light snack for lunch. It will help with the calorie avalanche that is to come.
Enjoy the Holidays
There was an 80-year-old study that came out of Stanford University that found that the most impactful component to longevity is meaningful relationships. Now this does not mean that you don’t have to take care of your fitness and nutrition. What it means is that spending time with loved ones and fortifying bonds is imperative to your overall wellbeing; especially after the crap that we all dealt with over the last two years. So, during the holidays, I implore you to connect and bond with the people that mean the most to you. For those who are fitness fanatics, I want to remind you that the holidays are about friends and family, not gains.
Now that you are fully equipped to be able to stay healthy during the holidays, I wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Happy Kwanzaa, and a very Happy New Year. Enjoy the holiday. You deserve it.